Digital drives commercial improvement at Henkel Adhesive

04 May 2023 2 min. read

When a global adhesives producer sought help in digitising its customer experience, in order to ramp up customer centricity and sales, the company turned to SparkOptimus for counsel.

With revenues of over €22 billion generated in two main segments (chemicals and consumer goods), Henkel is one of Germany’s largest multinational groups.

As part of its commercial strategy, the company’s Adhesives Technologies business unit (revenue: €11 billion) is working on a major upgrade of its customer experience – powered by a digital core. Key aim is to better serve its customers along the entire customer journey for the sales process of among others adhesives, sealants, and functional coatings.

Henkel Adhesive Technologies Inspiration Center in Düsseldorf

The strategic goal under the ambition’s mantle was to inject digitisation and cutting-edge tooling into the workings of the sales and marketing functions. With a track record in digital strategy, SparkOptimus was brought on board to guide and support the journey.

The consultants kicked off by defining a commercial strategy for the transformation, based on analysis of the customers of Adhesives Technologies (including both large and small and medium-sized businesses) and desk research on topics such as market trends and sectoral developments.

The SparkOptimus team then analysed the organisational, technology and data capabilities, in order to identify (potential) areas for development. In support of this, pilot projects were launched across five diverse international markets, where the improvement potential was brought to life (and tested).

During the pilots, SparkOptimus onboarded and coached cross-functional teams to quickly and flexibly demonstrate the value of the improvements to the sales and marketing teams.

Having gained learnings in the five markets, the project team was able to define an organisation-wide scale-up plan, and determine the required funding and time investment needed to realise a full roll-out.

Improved performance
The engagement saw SparkOptimus deliver a digital transformation strategy which significantly enhanced Henkel’s relationships with key accounts. The plan helped optimise the current digital way-of-working, while experimenting with new digital initiatives in pilots to better serve customers. Once their value was proven, it also made scaling up these existing and new initiatives easier.

Speaking on the project, Frederic Chupin, Henkel’s Senior Vice President for Customer Experience, e-Commerce & Digital Marketing Transformation, said, “SparkOptimus’ obsession to focus on how to transform the experience of our customers and partners has been instrumental to define our change agenda, to build new capabilities and to transform our organisation.”

The praise did not end there, however. SparkOptimus also earned plaudits for the project from German business magazine WirtschaftsWoche, with the project landing a ‘Best of Consulting’ award in the Strategy category, at its most recent annual awards.